North Devon condemn Cullompton to stay on title trail

North Devon Gazette

North Devon stay second behind Bradninch in the new-look A Division after a consigning struggling Cullompton to a 10th successive defeat.

The margin of victory at Instow was six wickets and the outcome leaves Cullompton on average points of 17.30 with leaders Bradninch (19.13) and third-placed Torquay (16.14) the only rivals left in the promotion race.

Opener Jamal Anwar top scored with 51 in even time for Cullompton in their all-out total of 168.

Jason Parr chipped in with 39 – he and Anwar put on 60 for the fourth wicket – and an unusually restrained Brendon Parr made 35 off 69 balls.

Jack Moore (4-35) topped the bowling stats for North Devon, although spinners George McEndoo (1-22) and Ben Howe (2-27) were both more economical.

Howe (0) had a rare failure at the top of the order and when James Vincent (3-22) followed up by snaring Moore the home side were 14 for two.

Dan Bowser (40) and James Tyson (20) got North Devon back in track, which left the Windley brothers, Isaac (33) and Reuben (56) to win the game with an unbroken stand of 84.

North Devon skipper Tom Popham said with six games to go in the three-way fight for two promotion places, every victory is vital.

“It is important at this stage of the season to keep winning,” said Popham.

“We were not at our best and Cullompton put in a good game which is credit to their lads.

“It was good to see that when our most common run getters get an early one, others have and will step-up, which Reuben and Isaac Windley did perfectly this game.

“That shows we aren't reliant on a small selection of players and that we bat very deep.”

North Devon are away to second-bottom Abbotskerswell this Saturday.

North Devon 2nd XI raced to a seven-wicket win over Kentisbeare to remain second in D East behind Alphington & Countess Wear.

Marcus Busch hit 66 to help Kents reach 210 all out after they had been 81 for five and under pressure from James Starkey (3-14) and David Hartley (3-38).

Steven Reed (38) had the only other score of more than 20 for Kents.

Ed Yeo (57) and Starkey (27) got North Devon off to flyer with a stand of 102, but both went in the space of six runs.

Joe Kelly (29) and Richard Wild (38no) wiped off the next 47, which left Jack Hockin (35no) to wrap things up with Wild early in the 28th over.

The top three are Alphington & Countess Wear (18.33pts), North Devon (16.30) and Sampford Peverell & Tiverton (15.33).

*Veteran Bob Heaman (50) and Jedd Foster (55) both made half-centuries for North Devon 3rd XI in their 53-run win over Upottery.

North Devon’s total of 177 for four soon looked too many for the visitors, whose first three batters only managed a run between them.

P J Kaal (30) and Matt Button-Stephens (33) repaired some of the damage, but with them out of the way Nathan Ware (3-18), Rob Mann (3-10) and Foster (2-26) dismissed Upottery for 124.

*North Devon pace bowler Jack Popham has been left out of the Devon side for the three-day game against Wales starting at Sandford on Sunday (11am).

Popham was included in the 50-over team that played and lost by five wickets to Berkshire at Sidmouth on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the NCA KO Trophy.

But he broke down with a leg injury midway through the third over he bowled and was unable to continue.

The Devon management have decided a three-day game so soon after Popham pulled up would not be fair on him or the team.